Crotalaria sphaerocarpa Perr. ex DC.
subsp. sphaerocarpa

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Crotalaria sphaerocarpa subsp. sphaerocarpa

Kalabo District, Ndau
Feb 1999
Photo: Mike Bingham

Crotalaria sphaerocarpa subsp. sphaerocarpa

Lukona Local Forest
Mar 1996
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Crotalaria nubica Benth.
Common names:
Status: Native
Erect annual up to 1 m, much-branched from the base. Stems covered in appressed or spreading hairs. Leaves 3-foliolate, with leaflets very variable, mostly linear to (ob)lanceolate, with long hairs at least beneath. Flowers in long, lax terminal racemes, pale yellow, pubescent on the outside. Pods very shortly oblong-ellipsoid, almost as wide as long, pubescent.
Type location:
Notes: Flowering time: Feb-May
Derivation of specific name: sphaerocarpa: with spherical fruits
Habitat: Woodland and savanna, often on sand, roadsides and other disturbed areas.
Altitude range: 0 - 1350 m
Flowering time:Sep - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Throughout the low-moderate rainfall areas of tropical Africa, from Mali and Ethiopia to Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Mc,E,C,S,W
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 18 September 2017

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 17.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 11.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 218. As: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 264. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 180. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 47.

Martins, E.S. et al. (2003). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(7) Pages 158 - 160. (Includes a picture).

Polhill, R.M. (2003). Flora Zambesiaca 3(7) Pages 158 - 160. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 63.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 211.

Other sources of information about Crotalaria sphaerocarpa subsp. sphaerocarpa:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa subsp. sphaerocarpa
Flora of Caprivi: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa subsp. sphaerocarpa
Flora of Malawi: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa subsp. sphaerocarpa
Flora of Mozambique: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa subsp. sphaerocarpa
Flora of Zimbabwe: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa subsp. sphaerocarpa

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
JSTOR Plant Science: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
Plants of the World Online: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
Tropicos: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa
Wikipedia: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-23

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2023). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Crotalaria sphaerocarpa subsp. sphaerocarpa., retrieved 30 September 2023

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